A “green” home is a home that is highly energy efficient, has excellent indoor environment, and is built to exceed local building code. Considering this, does not mean that these homes cost more to build than a person could save on energy costs? Absolutely not! A green home is affordable to build and can save a homeowner in thousands of energy costs annually. And there are thousands in tax incentives to take advantage of.
First, planned right and built well, a green home can be built for no more than regular construction, and has greater market value when it is completed. It is important to have a builder that has built green homes before, not just one that has added green features onto existing construction. The latter has no experience with the type of building techniques that lower building costs. An experienced home builder will know that getting LEED's engineers involved in the process and restructuring the process of building to reduce waste and energy are key to starting the project off right. In addition, an experienced home builder will be able to make valuable suggestions to the potential homeowner about trade-offs in costs and energy efficiency and apply his practical experience to estimates of energy savings.
Energy savings savings can be substantial. Using the weather and energy costs in Illinois as an example, and comparing an affordable green home to conventional home with forced air heating and central air-conditioning, a green home can save you around 75% on electricity, by using a combination of solar panels , landscaping, and Energy Star rated appliances and water heater and substituting central air with geothermal applications, over 90% on natural gas by using alternative heating methods, and 60% on water / sewer by implementing gray water recapture. Typical annual bills of nearly $ 3,000 per year could be lowered to $ 700 or less – a savings of $ 2,100 per year. Of course, these figures are for illustrative purposes only. Your actual savings depends on your electricity usage, the size of the home, the number of people you have living in your home, the number of solar panels you use, and the precise options you select for your green home.
And green homes look like regular homes inside and out, are maintenance friendly, and fun to own.
With tax incentives in the thousands, energy savings worth thousands, and greater market value, building and living in a green home is an affordable option for everyone.